Saturday, July 14, 2012

International Contacts and Poverty

I have a big bummer to share with you all.  I haven’t heard back from my contact.  L  I’m hoping in 2 weeks time I will hear from my contact from England and another from Costa Rica.

Since I haven’t heard back from my England contact … which I suspect will happen tomorrow!  J … I decided to look up some information about England and poverty and how does it compare to where I live in the U.S.?  I came across the site Child Poverty Action Group.  They state that 27% of children in England (in 2010/11) live in poverty with higher concentrations in different areas of the country.  Which is similar to U.S. statistics of 21.6% in 2010

In the U.S. the poverty level is a national level of income based on the size of the family and the ages of the members and was originally developed in 1963 based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s designated food budgets and what portion of their income was spent on food.  In 2011 that financial number was determined to be $23,018 for a family of four.  Which is currently equal to £14787.36. 

So how is poverty defined in England?  Where do they get their number?  The Poverty Site reports the poverty level to be determined to be “60% or less of the average household income in that year.” In 2008 that equaled £288 a week or £14976 a year for a family of four.  

While the years are off by 3 and the means of determining our poverty thresholds are different, they numbers come out fairly similarly.  England reports having more children living in poverty in the U.S. and through doing a simple search I found numerous resources on how both countries are combatting poverty similarly and the effects of a child growing up in poverty are the same. 

My prayer is that one day our upper-class citizens will find a way to live a simpler life and help out those who are suffering so deeply.  Just yesterday I was reading with my daughter the passage in the Bible about giving to the least of them was giving to Jesus found in Matthew 25:35-41.  There really is no excuse for the wealthiest countries to have this concern.


  1. Amy, I was just having a discussion today with friends about how our wealthiest people in the U.S. are those such as actors and athletes. And here we are helping to shape the minds of our children and future leaders. our greatest resource, yet we make such low incomes. I feel our priorities in this country are very ditorted. What do you think?

  2. I completely agree with you! I have said that for ages, especially when I was getting my degree in early childhood 15 years ago, knowing that I would be qualified to work in one of the lowest paying jobs out of college.
    In the US we view education as a right and not a privilege. I think if that mind-set would change, there may be more hope for setting things in a more balanced light!

  3. Since I entered the teaching profession, I have been surprised in the lack of equality in pay scales compared to other professions. Education should be the #1 priority in the country and teachers should be paid top dollars however, our emphasis is placed on sports, which is why NFL, NBA, and other leagues pay their players millions of dollars while we have children who go to bed without eating. It just makes we question what really is our nation’s top priorities? I think people forget that education is the pathway to every job, every career, everything.